Flash for E-M1 & E-pl5, FL50R or Fl600R?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by pcrit, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. pcrit

    pcrit Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 18, 2014
    I am looking for a decent flash mainly for my E-M1 and might be used on my e-pl5 if I keep it. I have a chance to get a used FL50R for $300 or the Fl600r new is $250. I do tend to use flash quite a bit so looking for thoughts on which one to buy on a budget. I really don't know much about Olympus flashes coming from Nikon where I use SB-910 and Quantum Trio. Looking for TTL and off camera flash is a must have.
     
  2. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    By my experience, the only good choice for a stills flash is the Metz 44 AF-1, maybe the 52 AF-1 if you like the gadgetry. Of course, they make bigger ones too, but they get really awkward on the camera. These work perfectly wirelessly, btw. Just no video light if you care. Also only about $200 new.
     
  3. pcrit

    pcrit Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 18, 2014
    Thanks, don't care about video light at all. It will do TTL on the Olympus?
     
  4. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    As if it were OEM.
     
  5. pcrit

    pcrit Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 18, 2014
    Cool, last question I hope. How about the AF assist beam or light? I saw a thread about it not working which I know helps quite a bit in low light situations.
     
  6. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Regular

    138
    Jul 21, 2012
    I have a Metz44 and a Metz52, like them very much.

    The 44 is quite minimalistic with its user interface and does no HighSpeed FP-TTL. Having the choice between Metz44 and Oly600R (for the same price) I would go with the Oly.

    But the 52 has more power and has all features except the focus/video light. I would not change it for a fl600r.

    But I don`t mind the missing focus light, the first things I immediately disabled on my new E-M1 were:

    the horrible focus-light and the annoying focus-confirm beep.:tongue:
     
  7. pcrit

    pcrit Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 18, 2014
    I agree, hate that stupid focus beep - first thing to go on any camera I have.
     
  8. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    What he said. Except I'd still take the Metz for my use. We all differ though.

    Want a clean used FL36R? I need to go grab a Metz...
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I've got two FL-600R units, here's my take after using them a while:

    The really compelling thing about them aside from TTL and FP (HSS) capability is the size. Very easy to pack in even a small camera bag. However, they're not powerful enough for heavy duty bounce flash or using in a softbox, at least not if it's the main source of light. If you're just balancing ambient for fill and size is important (say, for throwing in your camera bag as an extra), I'd say go with the FL-600R.

    Otherwise, if you're looking for a powerful unit that you can do big bounce flash or power a small softbox etc. similar to the SB-910 then I'd definitely make the jump to the FL-50R. If you don't mind going aftermarket the Metz 58 AF-2 looks to be a nice choice with a lot of oomph and some nice features.

    The big thing that seems to be lacking in this system is an affordable battery pack similar to the Nikon SD-9 unit. As far as I can tell there is no m4/3 TTL-capable flash that also has a battery pack option. The FL-50R has/had a high voltage pack option in the but it's been discontinued by Olympus. Metz does have a high voltage pack available but it's certainly not cheap.
     
  10. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Go for the FL-50R, it's the best of the bunch and fully compatible with all the Olympus bodies.
     
  11. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Nissin Di466 is a great choice on the cheap.
     
  12. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    If you want to do off-camera flash work, you might want to get both.
     
  13. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    I love the FL-600 great little unit for smaller rooms around home etc.. nice size head swivels back around a must

    for other work I use a metz 50 don't think they make that model anymore good for larger rooms bouncing and stuff could be a touch quicker and no battery input ? but the size is smaller than the 58 which is huge on the OMD ? but would also be a nice unit as well as the mentioned 50 if that is the big OLY unit ? seems like a nice flash but again big so a grip would be a must have or I think it would torque on your hands and be very tiring to shoot with ?

    the metz TTL works fine for me so I could say metz is a good deal and works with the built in setup as well but I prefer radio triggers for work ?

    the phottix triggers work well if you get the canon ones so the pins line up and I can have a phottix trigger pass through and my metz full TTL and control my remote manual lights also

    also use cheetah lights which then a small Tx sits in the shoe my preferred method :) kinda like the OP QTM but nicer :)
     
  14. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Nov 13, 2013
    Sold my FL-600R yesterday.

    My experience: Can only be used as a direct flash. Not powerful enough for most defused or bounce applications. The Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 is big, but is the minimum I seem to be able to get away with. When I need flash, I need one.
     
  15. pcrit

    pcrit Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 18, 2014
    Thanks for the advice everyone, lots to think about and I need something powerful but portable would be nice too. I would sacrifice power over portability though. I don't mind Metz or other brands too.
     
  16. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    I agree with everything Jay puts in post #9

    Having both the 36 and 50's I rarely use the 36 simply because of it's power output/recycle except in very controlled known environments. The 50's are also excellent with most speedlight modifiers (one lives in a 19" beauty dish/box)

    I wouldn't have any flash that can't do FP (HSS) as it would be useless for outdoor fill in many situations.

    I do have the HV-1/BN-1 :rolleyes:
     
  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Hey, more power to you (hah! :rolleyes:) - it's a nice option to have for sure.

    I just wish they'd make a flash with simple AA external battery pack available to cut recycle times and distribute the heat/power load, without spending the cost of a second flash unit to get a high-voltage battery pack!
     
  18. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I have the 600r, 50r and the Metz 58af2. The Metz has the most bells and whistles. The 50r has the best controls. The 600r has portability. I tend to usee the 50r on camera because of the rather brilliant controls. You can dedicate one of the wheels to FEC which is really really handy. The Metz requires too much button pusing for my liking. The 50r will not operate as a mastr for a groupbof off camera units. That's why I have the 600r, as a small "commander". It's also the flash I throw in the bag if I go on holidays. The Metz spends most of its time off camera because it has excellent manual functions like a dumb slave in addition to its TTL controls.

    For a single gun it would be the 50r. Just make sure you set the rear wheel for FEC.

    Gordon
     
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  19. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Gordon thanks for that informative post - I did not realize the FL-50R couldn't be a master unit, so that's good to know. And the FEC being assigned to one of the wheels is excellent! I think a FL-50R will be in my future eventually, should pair great with my FL-600R units!

    Heh, I had not seen that. Interesting, though I'd prefer replaceable AAs to a big rechargeable battery unit. Filing away for future reference at least!
     
  20. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    426
    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    Yeah, after I posted that I realized you said AA. Then I was looking at this. http://aljacobs.com/ He's been around a very long time.